Package delayed? You’re not alone. Some UPS shipments are late amid a crush of holiday orders


Some UPS packages have been delayed amid a crush of orders from online sales the week after Thanksgiving, the shipping giant acknowledged Tuesday.

Sandy Spring-based UPS said some packages are taking an additional one to two days in transit, a situation expected to last through Wednesday, said company spokesman Steve Gaut.

The company expects to handle a total of 750 million packages over the holiday season, up 5 percent year-over-year. But “the volume that came in within Cyber Week was higher than our forecast or our operating plan,” Gaut said. “We weren’t able to fully adjust.”

VIDEO: In other UPS news

Cyber Monday has become Cyber Week, the period after Thanksgiving when online orders pick up among holiday shoppers looking for deals.

UPS Express deliveries had an 89.2 percent on-time rate last week based on delivery by end of day, according to Satish Jindel, president of tracking software developer ShipMatrix. That’s compared to a 99.4 percent on-time rate for FedEx Express. 

The company last Friday notified drivers in more than 100 locations, including at its Pleasantdale facility in metro Atlanta, that they may be subject to a work schedule of 70 hours over eight days through Jan. 5. That’s the federally-allowed maximum, after which a driver would be entitled to 34 hours of rest.

“Their actual work hours will be dependent on how the volume comes in and whether they’re needed on that kind of schedule,” Gaut said. Drivers get paid time-and-a-half for overtime pay above 8 hours a day. UPS is also hiring 95,000 seasonal workers to help in facilities and as driver helpers during the holiday season.

He said UPS sent some of its office staff to locations that needed extra help to “work through some of the bottlenecks after last weekend.”

Teamsters general president James P. Hoffa wrote a letter to UPS CEO David Abney on Monday expressing “outrage and concern” over the 8-day/70 hour workweek for drivers. Hoffa wrote that the decision was made “without any regard for the physical toll that will result from working the additional hours the Company will compel. And it callously ignores the plans [drivers] may have made for spending time with their families this holiday season.” UPS and the Teamsters are in contract negotiations.

The spike in online orders came in spite of new UPS peak surcharges aimed at smoothing out volume with accompanying efforts by retailers like Macy’s offering $10 in Macy’s Money store credit in exchange for delayed delivery, Gaut said.

“If the customer didn’t follow their lead, then they still ordered and we were still obligated to get the packages to them,” Gaut said.

UPS reduced its service guarantee last week, allowing it more time to make deliveries. But depending on the type of UPS shipping used, some retailers may be eligible to file a claim because of late shipments, according to Gaut.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Delta pushes for anonymity in second airport opposition
Delta pushes for anonymity in second airport opposition

In the protracted fight over creating metro Atlanta’s second commercial airport in Paulding County, supporters of the idea have long alleged that Delta Air Lines is funding lawsuits filed by residents challenging that effort. Delta says it’s no secret that it opposes the commercialization of the Paulding airport, 38 miles northwest...
Atlanta-based SunTrust says data on 1.5 million customers tapped
Atlanta-based SunTrust says data on 1.5 million customers tapped

Atlanta-based SunTrust on Friday said it feared that a now-former employee had wrongly accessed basic information about 1.5 million customers. The company became aware in late February that the person – an employee at the time – had access to confidential information including names, addresses, phone numbers and some account balances. However...
Delta adding more inspections of its Boeing 737 engines
Delta adding more inspections of its Boeing 737 engines

In the wake of the Southwest Airlines engine failure that left one woman dead, Delta Air Lines said it is adding more inspections of those engines in its fleet. Atlanta-based Delta’s entire Boeing 737 fleet has the same type of engines that were in the Southwest plane that blew an engine Tuesday. The CFM56-7B engine that blew on the Southwest...
Former FAA administrator joins Delta board of directors
Former FAA administrator joins Delta board of directors

Michael Huerta, the former administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration is joining Delta Air Lines’ board of directors.  Huerta served a five-year term as FAA administrator after being nominated to the position by President Barack Obama and sworn into office in January 2013. He stepped down at the completion of his term...
Georgia loses jobs in March, but unemployment rate steady
Georgia loses jobs in March, but unemployment rate steady

After two strong months, Georgia’s economy lost jobs in March. The number of jobs dropped by 7,400 during the month after adding 9,200 in January and 18,300 in February. The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different, less extensive survey, held steady at 4.4 percent, according to a report issued Thursday by the Georgia Department...
More Stories